Asking Programmers

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by DOlsson, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. DOlsson macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Hey guys, I'm a computer programmer who recently switched to a macbook. While at the office I do all my development on a Dell Inspiron 1150 with WinXP - at home I have a very powerful PC with loads of memory if I ever bring my work home with me.

    I'm just wondering if anyone out there does development on their MacBook? I'm not speaking about creating the odd webpage here and there (we all know macs are pretty user friendly when it comes to that) but I mean any java, or anything of the sort? I'm sort of stuck, I can't really do my ASP.NET on my MacBook, or can I? (Obviously Visual Studio 2005 isn't mac friendly) What do you guys do?

    Just curious!

    I was thinking about putting NetBeans on my Mac but maybe there's something else out there ;)
  2. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    A MacBook should be fine for even relatively heavy-duty development. Its only real drawbacks from the MacBook Pro are slower graphics and possibly slower hard disk, and the GPU shouldn't make much difference to you. I'd ensure I had at least 1GB of RAM though.

    I don't really do any Java development on the Mac, so can't really help you there.
  3. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Thanks, I really should have made this on the other forum - I didn't realize on for Mac Programming existed! ooops!
  4. DaLurker macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2006
    With the new Intel macs I think the Mac's are probably the most versatile when it comes to programming (of course this depends on what you're coding). With parallels or bootcamp you can do all your development for Windows, if you need to develop for OS X you can and of course you can also develop for Unix.

    Since Java is a portable language you should have no problems developing on Mac OS X natively. If you really want you can just boot into Windows XP and program there.

    For Java Development (or C or C++) I use Eclipse. As for Visual Studio, you'll have to boot Windows and develop there.
  5. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Before I sold my powerbook over the summer, I used to program Java on it without any trouble. I would also say that now there are intel processors, macs are the best way to go. If you do have a problem with something for some reason, just fire up parallels or boot camp.
  6. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I do Java development at work using a Linux machine, and sometime a Windows XP machine, and I'm always relieved when I can come home and work on my Mac instead. Both Eclipse and Java Studio Creator seem more stable on the Mac (I could never get JSC running in Linux, and it crashes hourly in Windows) and with the switch to Intel CPUs, compilation and running appears to be 2 to 3 times faster than on PPC Macs. Not only that, but my 1.83 Core Duo Mac is 50% faster than my 2.25GHz Pentium M PC at compiling - I know it's dual core, but it only uses one core when compiling.

    The GPU, or lack of, makes no difference. My wife's MacBook (also 1.83GHz Core Duo) is almost exactly the same speed as my iMac.

    As for Visual Studio, I have the express editions installed on a Windows XP virtual machine using Parallels, and they seem just as fast as they were on my Windows PC before I switched ... the VM is roughly equivalent to a 1.6GHz Pentium M or a 2.4 GHz P4. Still, I don't do more than dabble in C++ and .NET programming, but one of my colleagues does all his Windows programming that way on his MBP.

    By the way, NetBeans worked fine when I tried it, but I'm used to Eclipse and didn't feel like getting into another IDE.
  7. jhande macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2006
    I've got a MacBook w/ 2gb installed. It's probably the most versatile development platform I've ever used. I'm playing around with Xcode (Objective-C), but apart from that, develop in C/Ada and beginning to in Haskell.

    If your toolchain is GCC, than there is no problem. If you are on a Microsoft toolchain, well then Parallels is your friend.

    I don't do Windows development (mostly numbercrunching stuff), but I have run som relatively heavy compiles on Solaris 10 through parallels. Very, very nice. Is it as fast as a standalone workstation? No, but it's fast enough.

    With SVN installed, it really is the best development platform I've ever worked on.

    BTW: Unless you are doing programming for graphics (games & directX etc) then the MacBook is more than adequate.
  8. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    You can run Parallels and then launch VS 2005 through that but that is quite a huge memory hog. You may even want to go for the Macbook Pro to load up on 3gb of memory for it. The experience is also somewhat subpar since Parallels has a short video lag, so there is a tiny delay between when you type something and it shows up on screen.

    Since your job is in a Microsoft shop why not just stick with the groupthink and use whatever everyone else is using? Using a Mac in such circumstances... well no offense, but it makes no sense, and it is nothing short of exclaiming "Hey! Look at me! Screw you inferior guys! I am different!" Won't want to get fired when your boss looks around and sees this guy with a white computer walking around in a predominantly M$ windows office :cool:
  9. DOlsson thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Thanks for all the replies guys! All very good, I especially liked the last one.

    At the office I use my windows machine, but my reason and perhaps I should have been a little more clear was to get an ide on here that I could play around with in my spare time :)

    I've always been drawn to the java language, so I thought, hey, maybe Net Beans.

    If I'm choosing the java route - does anyone have any feed back with the latest Net Beans environment? Keep in mind I'm going from a drag and drop interface in VS 2005, so I hope the latest from Net Beans is similar in the gui creation.

    Thanks again for the suggestions!
  10. bronxbomber92 macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2006
    The closest you'll get to drag and drop is with Cocoa and Interface Builder. I don't think you can make GUI by drag and drop with anything but Cocoa. Java is capable of using Cocoa, but it's deprecated. Also, I don't think NetBeans interfaces with IB, but I do know Xcode does.
  11. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2005
    Cramlington, UK

    I've been using my Powerbook G4 for development for, crumbs…, must be getting near 3 years now. Before that I used an iMac G4. I'm a coding junky and if the Mac didn't cut it I would have switched back to a PC years ago. I do a lot of Java servlets and OpenGl stuff amongst other stuff by the way. Been using Xcode all this time and RealBasic for the odd job. You might want to take a look at RealBasic… I know it's Basic but it is very good for creating applications/tools that need to run on Mac and PC.

    Looking to getting an iMac soon, or a Mac Pro.

    b e n
  12. darkwing macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2004
    I got back into macs in 2003, and was using it for x86 linux development (cross-building with gcc and remote x86 debugging!) for hard realtime embedded devices. I was also also doing a lot of in-house linux/posix stuff on it and testing it there to boot. At my current job I do everything on my Mac but do need to rdesktop into a Windows machine from time to time.

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